Summit Canyon preps to move north of river
Ample parking, a rare commodity for many Glenwood Springs businesses, and the opportunity to own commercial property in a part of town that’s due for a major makeover is prompting Summit Canyon Mountaineering’s leap over the Colorado River to Sixth Street.
Carl Moak, who owns Summit Canyon with his wife, Kathy, is now half owner along with Debbie Lundin of the former auto dealership building at the corner of Sixth and Pine that most recently housed Mountain Sports Outlet.
Vail Resorts-owned Mountain Sports pulled out of Glenwood Springs after last ski season. That opened up a golden opportunity for Moak, whose lease at the current store location in the clocktower building at Eighth and Grand was up after this year.
Renovations at the new 9,200-square-foot space are underway, and Moak said he expects to move Summit Canyon to the new north Glenwood location by Jan. 25.
“We’re excited about the move, and the whole Sixth Street corridor will have huge potential when you take all of the through traffic off of it,” he said of the realigned, new Grand Avenue bridge that will eliminate the short Sixth Street section of Colorado 82 when it opens in late 2017.
The city and Downtown Development Authority are working with a specially appointed committee, on which Moak sits, to develop a master plan for redeveloping the Sixth Street district where the historic Hot Springs Pool and Hotel Colorado are located.
“This area has a really bright future, and we’re glad to be here,” Moak said.
The property comes with 46 on-site parking spaces, including 18 in a back lot. That’s a “huge advantage” for any retail business, he said.
Although Summit will be losing about 1,800 square feet of space overall compared with its current location, the new store will be on a single level, making for a better layout, Moak added.
Working with Clean Energy Economy for the Region and the city through its rebate program, the interior lighting has been replaced with all LED fixtures and other energy-efficient features.
What was the ski shop at Mountain Sports has been remodeled for office space, and another back area will become the ski shop complete with a new ski tuning machine.
Ski gear, shoes and apparel will be located in the main area, where store manager Nancy Stover’s husband, Paul, is designing the new checkout counter. The slightly stepped-up level on the east end of the building is where the backpacking equipment, tents and boats will be.
An outdoor patio area immediately in front of the store will also be ideal for dealer demos, sidewalk sales and special events, Moak said.
A May grand opening is planned, after which Moak admitted he will be holding his breath a little during the scheduled 95-day Grand Avenue bridge closure and highway detour when north Glenwood will be somewhat isolated.
“We want to be cautious about things until the bridge is finished,” he said, adding he is working with suppliers regarding inventory adjustments and will be offering same-day deliveries on some product purchases so people don’t have to navigate their way to the store.
The location will be readily accessible by foot, however, as the new pedestrian bridge that is part of the Grand Avenue bridge project is slated to open in March.
The Moaks have owned Summit Canyon Mountaineering since 2005, when they purchased it from Steve Davis, a home-building contractor who currently is on Glenwood Springs City Council. Summit has a second store in downtown Grand Junction.
Meanwhile, Bill Bullock, owner of the current Summit Canyon building at 732 Grand Ave., said he is talking with a couple of retail ventures that are interested in the space.
“We did have some interest for a variety of restaurants and a brewery,” Bullock said. But that would have required a full kitchen and other expensive upgrades, he said.
“Money-wise, I think you’ll see it remain as retail,” he said.
The northern section of the Eighth and Grand building is occupied by the Bluebird Cafe coffee shop, which for now has a direct passage into the retail store space.